March Break planning doesn’t need to be an overwhelming chore that has you worrying about renewing passports or fretting about long travel days. Within just a short drive (or by train or plane ride), you can visit the Capital of Canada and fill your family’s March Break calendar with culture, great eats, outdoor fun and adventure in Ottawa.
Ottawa’s big-city vibe with small-town enchantment offers the potential for the perfect March Break. For the arts addict, the history buff, the nature lover or the adventure seeker, Ottawa is the destination that combines it all in one easy to get-to location.
Here’s a roundup of some of the most fun, family-friendly things to do in Ottawa this March Break.
Nature and the Great Outdoors
The winter months offer a unique opportunity to explore Ottawa’s natural beauty or participate in some of the most Canadian outdoor activities offered throughout the region.
1. Plan to lace up your skates. Glide on the historic Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink. Don’t forget to stop for along the way for a BeaverTail!
2. Enjoy the fresh powder. Check out the local hills for an afternoon of snowboarding or skiing.
3. Head to a sugar bush. Ottawa boasts many local sugar bushes where you can indulge in maple syrup, taffy or a traditional pancake breakfast. Some locations even offer horse-drawn sleigh rides and petting farms!
4. Check out the wildlife up close. For a completely different outdoor experience, drive to Omega Park, located about an hour away from Ottawa, to see Canadian wildlife in an outdoor, interactive habitat. Feed the elk and deer carrots while driving around and keep your eyes open for other animals like bison, wolves and bears.
Arts, Culture and History
With multiple national museums across the city, and all of them offering special March Break programming, it might be impossible to visit just one!
5. Go museum hopping. Here’s an insider tip: get a Museum Passport to visit multiple museums at a great price. Then check out the Canadian Children’s Museum, located at the Canadian Museum of History and go on an adventure around the world. Or explore ZOOOM – Children’s Innovation Zone at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Plus, Artissimo at the National Gallery of Canada provides hands-on activities for creative children.
Fun, Playful and Memorable
Sometimes, the activities you plan for the kids that offer the biggest ‘wow’ factor are the ones that provide them with a unique experience they haven’t done before or that lead to the most interesting conversations (and laughs) after the fact. Ottawa has some great, playful and high-energy activities for the entire family.
6. Make a great escape. Work together to make your family’s escape at Escape Manor Junior, an escape room built for kids.
7. Chase each other while you’re 75 feet underground. Enjoy a game of laser tag at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum. You’ll easily be upping your ‘cool parent’ game in the eyes of the kids.
Eat, Treat and Repeat
Your visit to Ottawa wouldn’t be complete without indulging in a tasty bite or two (or three or four; treat yourself while on vacation!) With many local restaurants that welcome kids of all ages, you may want to plan your trip around where and what to eat.
8. It’s not fun without pizza. Grab a delicious pizza at The Grand Pizzeria and Bar in the ByWard Market.
9. All. Day. Pancakes. Enough said. Surprise the kids with crowd-pleasing pancakes served all day at Flapjack’s Canadian Diner.
10. Top it off with a shake. Treat everyone to a milkshake at Zak’s Diner—they’ve got multiple locations for you to check out.
11. Have we mentioned doughnuts? Ask any local resident and they will likely point you in the direction of one of their favourite doughnut spots. You don’t want to miss out on these.
No matter your interest or age of your children, Ottawa is the perfect spot for a March Break adventure you won’t soon forget.
This post is brought to you by Ottawa Tourism, but the opinions are our own.